Before Moving Forward

MVP, UAAP SEASON 80 MVP, Season 80 Volleyball
Credits to the owner of the photos

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines popularly known as UAAP ended its Season 80 in the sport of volleyball but let me give these ladies the appreciation they deserve.

They always been a fighter, a strong woman and a dependable leader on their own way. Many praised them in time of victory and bashed them in defeat but these doesn’t stop them from playing and giving their all. 
They became what their team need. When they’re in need of an attacker they delivers. Floor specialist in most cases, they contributes. They became one of the pillars of her team if not the core of their respective teams. Standing-out from the team in terms of attacks made opponents scout them, target them and giving them a hard time to adjust but eventually they produce the points that the team need and most of all the leadership that stabilizes the team.

They have their down times, off games despite giving their best but they have a strong support from family, friends and fans who support and encourage them to rise up to the challenge. They have been lifting their team for years after losing key players from their team. They worked hard juggling academic and extracurricular activities. They’re grounded individuals who just wanted to play for their respective schools and graduate with the degree. They deserve to be appreciated for the years they’ve given to their school, sport and the whole volleyball community. The sacrifices, victories and momentary setbacks they’ve faced paid off as they’ve reached their goal and dreams. May you, ladies, prosper in your chosen career and have a life with no regrets.

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On Higher Ground

​I have the opportunity to climb the peak of the mountain which took us about 4 hours just to get there. The path was to steep and nerve-wrecking but it was a satisfying experience. 
We climb there on Lenten Season, time for reflection, and I did. The experience was so memorable to me because that was the first time I engaged in an activity after I got injured with an ACL. Also we met our housemaid (back when we were young) living in the small barangay near the peak of the mountain. 

It made me realize a lot of things especially on Family and People. 

Family

  • I came there with my family and relatives. We’re the young ones getting excited with the trip to a place we never imagined going. With us are our parents, uncles and aunts, they were also taking on the challenge of climbing there despite their age and numerous reasons not to. Being with Family makes the climb bearable. Family tend to encourage one another and lift each other up (figuratively and literally speaking). Family is an important component of life that we tend to neglect but it is on of the things that is constant in a changing world. 

People

  • As I mentioned earlier, We met our ex-housemaid. We spent almost 3 years with her taking care of my younger sibling among other things. We liked her since she was one of those who lasted more than a month (believe me it’s a very short list) but due to the request of her father she went back home to marry the one her father had arranged for her. She was from a mountainous area from our town and there she was in a mountainous area of another town. She was happy as we was seeing her. Now, she has 5 children and she’s working with her husband in the other side of the mountain. Seeing and experiencing a bit of their life made me think that there were still unfortunate people who were deprived of access to health care, to a nearby school since her eldest child had to walk for an hour or so just to reach the bottom of the mountain to go to school in the next barangay, and access to opportunities that may elevate the quality of life they had. At the same time, I felt that they were perks of having a lif such a theirs. One of those is the cold and pure water coming from the springs, bountiful harvest of crops that they grew there and the clean air that I surely miss. They have a simple life and have simple dreams. I hope that most people would realize that there were others such as Manang (who we call her) that lived with even less than what we normally have. We should be thankful for what we have and appreciate the strength of people despite of adversities or unfortunate circumstances.

God really do wonders in things even if we least expect it. More than reaching the peak and seeing the magnificent view from above, I gained experiences, learnings, realizations and most of all seeing a familair face in an unexpected place. This makes me believe in more on God, family and people.

#reality

Present Status

I Believed Once is about the reality of how news can change the landscape of history and human perception on things. The social media interaction also leads to damaging reputation and even lives if people weren’t responsibile enough to respect certain boundaries. 

Nowadays, people write whatever they want even if it degrades others because of the animosity in the world of social media but it shouldn’t be that way. People should learn to lift others when they feel down. People should be compassionate to others despite not knowing them personally. 

Animosity should be coupled with Social Responsibility. It’s not an excuse if you are a nobody in social media, when you say something you should be responsible to the consequences of your action. I hope that people shouldn’t rely mostly on online interaction but we should expose ourselves in the world with real people to talk to and create memories with them. This is how things should be.

UAAP Story: Rise of Underdogs

​Underdogs are schools that have relatively new line-up due to the loss/graduates of some key players while some may have new coaches.

Teams that I consider underdogs are the Adamson Lady Falcons, Ateneo Lady Eagles, University of the East Lady Warriors, University of the Philippines Lady Maroons and University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses. These teams are relatively new in terms of group dynamic and adjustments ranging from change of coaches to loss of key players and having additional players.
Adamson team shows promise since the comeback of almost all of their players who plaued the Season 78 and were not able to play in Season 79. I’m talking about Paat, Dacoroon and Emnas who were full of potential but always fell short during their stint in the previous seasons. They struggled and then they cameback at the right time helping Galanza to win games and recently defeating the defending champions in 4 sets. This only shows that the Lady Falcons are stronger and in better shape than their previous years. They are the team that will not be taken lightly.

Ateneo Lady Eagles is a team who lost their setter and their team captain of the previous season, Morado and Morente respectively. Though veteran players Maraguinot, Madayag and De leon are still with the team, they have to adjust because not only did they lost the playmaker but also their defensive specialist, Gequillana, earlier the season because of an ACL Injury. The team has to build a strong connection and regain their team dynamics with the new setter and libero. They may seem to be starting from scratch but remember the time when the Lady Eagles had their first title, they lost the Fab Five, their starters yet they won a championship for two consecutive years. This simply shows that this team has that power to go against all odds and prove themselves to be worthy opponents in this season.

UE Lady Warriors is a new team with a new coach entering midseason. In the past, they were the team that is being played by the bench players from other teams. A “sure win” if not an “easy win” for their opponents but this season they show that they can also be lethal. They even stole a set from almost all teams during the first elimination round and having a five setter match against strong opponents. Veterans, Arado and Adorador, lead their teams to have confidence and to eventually win sets. Although winless at the moment, they pretty showed a great fight and giving the other schools a hard time to get their win. 

University of the Philippines, this team has the youngest players. The players have to step-up their game and they did. Despite losing their coach before the season starts, this doesn’t made them weak rather it made them stronger. They keep that as a motivation as they move forward. They may be the least mature team in terms of handling the pressure, the crowd and the situation in the court per se but they won matches and every game must be a learning experience for them. They have the highest potential to outshine other teams when they peak at the right time. 

UST Tigresses has also an intact line-up from last year except from the unfortunate loss of Laure due to shoulder injury before the season began. I consider them as underdogs because they were considered as underrated by many. This team has the right people with the right skills that they need it’s just that they have to polish things and when they do they could be lethal. Looking at the form and on how these girls play, it’s no doubt that they wanted that final four spot. The will of these girls are like a fire that can’t be stopped which makes them an opponent that is hard to beat.

This Season 80 all teams have the same goal but only Four teams will be moving towards that championship. This is just the first round of elimination and it’s not done yet but the scoring is so close that you don’t know what more to expect other than this year is an exciting season to watch.

Experience and Maturity in UAAP

UAAP Season 80 is an exciting year in collegiate volleyball. This is because the most of the big names in PH volleyball were already graduated from college. Only a few remains and new stars are rising from every schools. 

This year is a game between relatively young teams versus the experienced and mature ones. The latter I’m talking about are the schools such as National University Lady Bulldogs, Far Eastern University Lady Tamarraws and the De La Salle University Lady Spikers. I think they have experienced players who are playing in the commercial and pro-league. Individually the players were exposed to high intensity games and developed to be better which is beneficial to their respective teams. The thing that will matter is on how their acquired experience and maturity translate into winning games in UAAP Season 80. 

NU Lady Bulldogs has an intact line-up. The likes of Santiago, Nabor, Urdas, Sato and Singh whose connection and teamwork made them closer to the Final Four last year but failed near the end. In the off season, these girls played in commercial league where they won the championship in PVL Collegiate Conference but that doesn’t automatically give them a free pass in the UAAP games rather they showed their opponents that they are the wall that most teams would climb towards that UAAP championship. The players are hungry for a trophy although they may have a new coach but their desire to get that Final Four spot and eventually the championship are unwavering. 

FEU Lady Tamarraws is a strong team with a powerful line-up despite the loss of Palma when she graduated. Their rally towards the Final Four is also strong as key players are still with the team. They will stand their ground against the other relatively younger teams to defend their Final Four spot and eventually the championship. They also played in the commercial league where they faced the Lady Bulldogs and finished second. In this UAAP season, many expect that the Lady Tamarraws will come back against their loss from the NU Lady Bulldogs. 

DLSU Lady Spikers has also an intact line-up despite the loss of veteran setter Fajardo who finished her last playing year in Season 79. Although the team may have a new setter but their team have two national players, Dy and Macandili, who are key players in defending their UAAP title a the top seed. The team are composed of veterans as they also played in the pro league during off season. Their maturity as a team grew and they’ll be needing to convert their individual strength to propel the team in winning another championship title.

Many expect these team to excel in this UAAP Season 80 but these are expectations of people rooting for these teams because the reality is its anybody’s game. The other teams are young but resilient. Underestimating the other teams may cost a Final Four spot and even a championship. 

This Season 80 I’ll be looking forward to more exciting games and action packed matches between schools having one goal in mind and it’s to win the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Taking a Stroll

Walking is a form of unwinding. Taking a stroll early in the morning before the start of a long day is nice but I’m not a morning person so I prefer to walk after a tiring day. 

Looking at the sea calms my nerves. I felt the serenity of the surrounding radiates to me. 

The contrasting photos are from two different places but the feeling seems similar to an overdue vacation finally being realized especially after a weeklong busy day.